Has anyone been in Zimbabwe lately?

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Jul 27th, 2005, 01:07 PM
  #21
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I really hope we are just having a passionate discussion here. I certainly didn't mean to start anything. I just wanted to know what the situation is really like over there right now. Of course, Bwana, I want to support anyone in this predicament. I never said I wouldn't go there. I was only asking questions. I would still like to know what you meant by your comment about ME being able to feed my family being most important.
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Jul 27th, 2005, 01:11 PM
  #22
 
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hi guys let me chime in since it sounds like i am the only person who has actually visited zim on this particular post. first of all, all the costs of staying at a wilderness safari camp in zim go toward keeping the wildlife safe. whether it be keeping water holes pumping, doing anti poaching activities or employing local people. the only money going to the regime is the visa. i didnt get any zim dollars when i was there. and the people in zim were some of the friendliest/happiest people i have ever met. so go there and spend your money on reputable places and they will work for Good. it will benefit a lot of needy and worthy of help people if we dont their wont be any animals left in what was once the most sought after southern african destination. i for one certainly dont want to see that. now both botswana and zambia benefit hugely as well for tourism and i promote trips to there as well. but zimbabwe needs extra help and shouldnt be shut out.
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Jul 27th, 2005, 01:17 PM
  #23
 
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cooncat,

Forgive me for speaking for Bwana Mitch, but I believe he meant that it's important for "one to have" a job--the Zimbabweans, not you.

Sorry for butting in. I always read the Zim posts because I had a long conversation a couple of years ago with some Zimbabweans about this and other issues. They were visiting in San Francisco, taking art courses (my friend had gone and taught art in Zim a few months prior).
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Jul 27th, 2005, 01:24 PM
  #24
bwanamitch
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cooncat,
The most important thing is that one HAS a job to feed his/her family. (Better?)
 
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Jul 27th, 2005, 01:26 PM
  #25
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Leely - Thanks and feel free to butt in any time. As I re-read Bwana's post I see you're probably right - and English isn't his first language. MY misunderstanding. I feel so badly for all people in these situations, and sometimes it is hard to know the right thing to do. Thanks for the discussion. So, Leely, what did your Zim friends have to say, anyhow?!
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Jul 27th, 2005, 01:30 PM
  #26
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Yes, Bwana. Thanks and sorry for the misunderstanding!
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Jul 27th, 2005, 01:35 PM
  #27
 
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Well, we mainly discussed land redistribution, as they were black city dwellers and were saying they had no use for a farms that they were being "given," Mugabe's plans made no sense and were helpful to few to none, etc.

But even then they were fearful of being cut off from the rest of the world.

I can only assume that, as they were art students with the means to study in SF, they weren't "poor." They were still quite worried.

I am certainly not even close to informed. But this is a bad situation for the residents of Zimbabwe, and this was a couple of years ago. As far as I can tell (via the media), things haven't improved.

It's a tough decision.
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Jul 27th, 2005, 01:39 PM
  #28
bwanamitch
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"things haven't improved" is a nice paraphrase. This land is dying!
 
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Jul 27th, 2005, 01:50 PM
  #29
 
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bwanamitch, I was trying not to be inflammatory. As I'm pretty uninformed, I hesitate to use stronger language.

No one wants to hear what I REALLY think. Though I certainly can get going after a drink or two...
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Jul 27th, 2005, 01:56 PM
  #30
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Sorry, Leely, that was not meant against you.
 
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Jul 27th, 2005, 02:04 PM
  #31
 
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Bwana Mitch,
Mea culpa--I was being oversensitive.
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Jul 28th, 2005, 06:24 AM
  #32
 
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Bigcountry, you're not the only one participating here who has actually been to Zim. I have, and others here have as well.

I was living in Johannesburg in 1980, and I remember well the day Mugabe took office. In our flat with us were Bishop Tutu's personal secretary and another friend. We drank a toast to "Zimbabwe" (no longer Southern Rhodesia) and discussed our hopes for the future of that beautiful neighboring land. Our hopes were high. Twenty-five years later there is no hope there, only starvation and ruin.

Thoughtful people differ about what actions are best for them to take in the face of situations like this, and I respect others' opinions and decisions. I certainly don't think my views are best for everyone, only for me.
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Jul 28th, 2005, 06:26 AM
  #33
 
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Oh, p.s.

Didn't someone recently report here that water was no longer being pumped to the waterholes in at least one of the national parks?
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Jul 31st, 2005, 08:39 PM
  #34
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Just got back from a trip - stayed 2 nights in Little Makololo in Hwange NP. It was awesome. However - the manager told us that Wilderness Safaris has sold their 2 camps (Makololo Plains and Little Mak). Wilderness of course has a superb reputation and I for one am truly sorry they are bailing out of Zimbabwe - I also believe this could be a sign that Zimbabwe's camps are going to go through an adjustment period.
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Aug 1st, 2005, 02:31 PM
  #35
 
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lin,
I would love to hear more about your visit to Little Makalolo, as I am heading for Makalolo Plains in September. Do you know when the sale of the camps goes through? Hopefully not before my trip!
Renee
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Aug 1st, 2005, 05:01 PM
  #36
 
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hi lin,
i too am curious about the sale and about your stay at mak. who was your guide, Tendai? and what all did you see. did the eles drink from the pool? we had a great time this past jan.
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Aug 1st, 2005, 05:11 PM
  #37
 
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Lin, I too will be at Makalolo Plains in September. Any additional info you have on the sale would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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Aug 1st, 2005, 06:00 PM
  #38
 
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I've emailed my agent requesting any info on WS selling Makalolo and/or Chikwenya. We are scheduled in Sept to spend 3 nights at Makalolo Plains, 3 nights on the Mana Canoe & Walking Trail (also run by WS), and 2 nights at Chikwenya. I'll let you know what I hear back.
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Aug 1st, 2005, 06:37 PM
  #39
 
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I am a little late to the party here, but I felt that I needed to respond once I read "tripster's" damnation of those of us, myself included, whom have visited Zimbabwe in recent years.

I suppose the people that still have jobs would be somehow better off if they were abandoned altogether? Moreover, I suppose the animals would still have even the slightest protection that they still may enjoy in some parts of Hwange and Mana Pools?

How easy it must be to sit back from thousands of miles away and tell others to completely abandon the Zimbabwean people and wildlife. Trust me, if I was not so concerned about the Zambian people and wildlife, I would not hesitate for one second to go to Zimbabwe, even now.

If anything, I feel a bit of guile for choosing the Sabi Sand at the end of my trip instead of going to Hwange or Mana Pools.

This may rub some the wrong way, but I do question how much tourists who will only visit South African and even Botswanan lodges are contributing to the wildlife. These areas are completely safe from poaching and in comparison to Zimbabwe and Zambia are wealthy countries. I believe that those individuals who visit Zimbabwe, Zambia and other countries in dire need of our support are really making the most difference for the African people and wildlife.

I hope to be a good example on what a difference we may make in the lives of the people and the wildlife on my upcoming safari. I have a few tricks up my sleeve, but I will have to wait to see if they pan out. I no longer want to be one of those people just looking for the best lodges and the Big Five, content that the animals were around long enough for my safari, but not giving it a single afterthought once I am gone.
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Aug 1st, 2005, 06:38 PM
  #40
 
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>>>If anything, I feel a bit of guile for choosing the Sabi Sand at the end of my trip instead of going to Hwange or Mana Pools.<<<

guile = guilt
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